Trying to find a word which will describe the slow process of the absorption of a ship by the sea. Metaphysical words are also welcome.
Sea water swallowed the ship.
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
The suggestion by Edwin Ashworth of engulfed gets at it. Synonyms of engulfed include swamped, submerged, submersed, immersed, innundated, consumed, overwhelmed, enveloped, swallowed up...
Online etymologies have this to say about engulfed:
Late 14c., "profound depth," from Old French golf "a gulf, whirlpool," from Italian golfo "a gulf, a bay," from Late Latin colfos, from Greek kolpos "bay, gulf of the sea," earlier "trough between waves, fold of a loose garment," originally "bosom," the common notion being "curved shape."
This is from PIE *kwelp- "to arch, to vault" (compare Old English hwealf, a-hwielfan "to overwhelm"). Latin sinus underwent the same development, being used first for "bosom," later for "gulf" (and in Medieval Latin, "hollow curve or cavity in the body"). The geographic sense "large tract of water extending into the land" (larger than a bay, smaller than a sea, but the distinction is not exact and not always observed) is in English from c. 1400, replacing Old English sæ-earm. Figurative sense of "a wide interval" is from 1550s.
My apologies for wasting an "anwer" when a comment would have been more appropriate but I'm too new to this SE to be able to comment.
The word "swallow" might not be perfect on its own. However the verb plus adjective combination "swallowed up", would work just fine. Here's a quote from the novel Cambell's Reivers:
When the misted waters swallowed up the ship and its occupants, she bowed her head and slowly returned ...
And here's more examples from Googlebooks.
If you're concerned that swallow is incorrect here, don't be. It's perfectly acceptable and even sees common usage. When a ship sinks on the open sea, it's often described as having been "swallowed by the waves", or it can be said that "the waves swallowed the ship". This makes sense if you imagine the sight of waves washing over a slowly descending wreck. To me, it's similar to the sight of lips closing over food, or teeth chewing.
Noun 1. foundering - (of a ship) sinking
- going under
- ship - a vessel that carries passengers or freight
- sinking - a descent as through liquid (especially through water); "they still talk about the sinking of the Titanic"
From The Free Dictionary.
Include or absorb (something) in something else
Example (describing the sinking of Henry VIII’s vice-flagship the Mary Rose)
Henry VIII, watching the battle from nearby Southsea Castle, heard the screams of the drowning men as he watched the pride of his fleet being subsumed by the waves.
Another example (describing the sinking of the WWII submarine, the SS Sea Thrush)
Water covered her decks as far as the number two hatch, near where the first torpedo struck. One can imagine the men idling nearby on the still sea, watching their erstwhile home and workplace slowly – even peacefully – subsumed by the sea, leaving them with an inch or less of wood between them and the same fate.